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We packed our essential items into the car (cameras, mobile phones, wallet and handbag) and made our way to Maple Glen.
The GPS kept us on track until we sighted the almost hidden entranceway carved into the tall, well groomed line of hedges and trees. Only one other vehicle was in the car park, there were no signs, no rules, no restrictions and nobody. A final check of the all essential photo capturing technology, then we stepped from our day-to-day reality into nature’s paradise!
To suggest we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the gardens would be a complete understatement. A more accurate description would be “we felt joyously tearful” as we stepped from our vehicle and we maintained that beautiful emotion for our entire visit.
Anyone watching our finger pointing, our smiles, our head shaking and our expressions as we stumbling along the manicured pathways would have assumed we were drunk; yet in fact we were intoxicated with life, injected with nature’s serum and comforted in the colours of life.
We took over 800 photos, plus a slew of videos. We talked with the owners, sniffed the flowers, visited the birds, admired the lakes and chatted to the swans.
Time accelerates during these moments of pure joy and soon it was time to leave, but we promised the owners and ourselves that we will return, and we will. Nature has a unique way of energising the body, spirit and soul; of bringing us back to “ourselves and to the needs of others”. Maple Glen provided us with that energy yesterday and we are grateful to Muriel, Bob and Rob Davison for creating (and maintaining) this experience, and for allowing others to freely share in their passion.
Information on Maple Glen:
Bob and Muriel bought the property (then a 200 acre dairy farm) in 1966. Initially there was very little garden and the first priority was reducing the size of the mortgages they were lumbered with. However Muriel had a keen interest in plants and the temptation of ‘movable fences’ was frequently too great to withstand. They could only afford one spade in the early years and it was a running joke that its handle was kept constantly warm between digging fence post holes on the farm and gardening. Development of the garden accelerated in the early 1970s with the sale of the dairy herd (to be replaced by a flock of coopworth sheep) and the creation of the nursery. The latter proving that the hobby could generate money as well as consume it! The name Maple Glen came about when we had to officially register a nursery. At the time there were over 30 varieties of Japanese Maples on the property and the garden was being developed in a curving valley with a water source in the bottom. Such a landform is called a Glen in Bobs native Ireland. The garden continues to be developed and extended.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Jan. 15th 2011
A Tiny Piece Of 25 Acres